Daily Spirit & Word, 481: The Wideness of God’s Mercy.
Good morning my friends, I hope your Easter Week is going well. Today we’re thinking of God’s mercy towards sinners. He’s just so outstandingly kind, gracious, forgiving, loving, gentle. When we hear of God’s wrath, anger and justice, we must always remember that they are tempered and controlled by every other aspect of His Divine Character.
“As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us.”
My friends there is a wideness in God’s MERCY that I believe we’ve only just touched upon. So many Christians it seems love to hear or talk about God’s wrath and anger against sin (and He is), but there’s also such a breadth to God’s Divine Nature that we miss out on when we simplify our focus too much. It’s not surprising that when we concentrate on just one characteristic that we produce lop-sided followers. It’s like we’re producing Disciples with limps or with a load on one shoulder and we do a real dis-service to God’s Kingdom. Not only that, when your Heavenly Father looks at you, He’s probably wondering why you’re not conveying the whole Good News.
Mercy triumphs over judgement.
James 2:13 (NIV) “because judgment without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful. Mercy triumphs over judgement!”
Can you see that my friends? God’s Justice and Judgement are good and righteous and necessary, but there’s a wideness in God’s mercy, that means because we’ve been forgiven so much, we should also extend that same mercy and forgiveness towards others.
How is God Merciful?
Well, when we reflect upon the Cross and why it was that Jesus came to die, we discover that it was because of God’s great love for those He had created, He doesn’t want anyone to perish in hell, but everybody to come to repentance. Of course if people refuse God’s mercy, then He’ll have to give them His judgement, anger and wrath against their rebellion and sin. However, the amazing thing is God holds out the olive branch of peace and mercy and forgiveness. He’ll remove all our transgressions, trespasses and sins, “As far as the east if from the west”…
My friends, if you are sincerely desiring to follow after God, become more like Jesus, then you need to discover more about what God is like in His Character, the Holy Spirit will be moulding you into the same shape as Him. There’s no better place to look than to the stories of the Saviour, but the same nature and character are also revealed in the Old Testament.
Let’s look at just one Psalm that shows us God’s great kindnesses and mercies. Psalm 103. Read it and meditate upon it, highlight every word that speaks to you of God’s goodness, mercy, kindness, forgiveness, grace, etc…
Read this Psalm out as loud as you can, get to a lonely place and shout it out, for faith comes by hearing the words of the Lord. My friends, God’s MERCY will become evident when you HEAR God’s Word Today. Let His grace and kindness wash you clean.
Psalm 103:1-22 (NIV)
1 [Of David.] Praise the LORD, O my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name.
2 Praise the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits—
3 who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases,
4 who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion,
5 who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.
6 The LORD works righteousness and justice for all the oppressed.
7 He made known his ways to Moses, his deeds to the people of Israel:
8 The LORD is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love.
9 He will not always accuse, nor will he harbour his anger for ever;
10 he does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities.
11 For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him;
12 as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.
13 As a father has compassion on his children, so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him;
14 for he knows how we are formed, he remembers that we are dust.
15 As for man, his days are like grass, he flourishes like a flower of the field;
16 the wind blows over it and it is gone, and its place remembers it no more.
17 But from everlasting to everlasting the LORD’S love is with those who fear him, and his righteousness with their children’s children—
18 with those who keep his covenant and remember to obey his precepts.
19 The LORD has established his throne in heaven, and his kingdom rules over all.
20 Praise the LORD, you his angels, you mighty ones who do his bidding, who obey his word.
21 Praise the LORD, all his heavenly hosts, you his servants who do his will.
22 Praise the LORD, all his works everywhere in his dominion. Praise the LORD, O my soul.
Did you shout it out? I’d have woken all the grandchildren, but I shouted it out in my mind 🙂 I’ll be shouting it when they all wake up in about an hour though.
From the start to the finish this Psalm shouts out loudly of the wideness of God’s MERCY.
The themes ringing loudly in your ears today should be: Forgiveness, Healing, Deliverance, Soul-Satisfaction, Redemption, Compassion, Renewal, He Fights For Justice, Gracious, Patience (slow to anger), Love (abounding in love), Cleansing from All sin, Praise the LORD my soul.
“As a Father has compassion on his children”
One day when I was playing football (soccer) with my brother in the garden, I broke a big window. My mum shouted at me and told me to come into the house, she said, “Wait until your father gets home, he’s going to punish you severely for this”. All the rest of that day I was dreading the moment my dad got home from work. He came in and I thought at first my mum had forgotten to tell him, but then she did and my dad said, “Go into the bedroom, I’ll be in soon to sort you out boy”… I was crying and saying how sorry I was, it was an accident, pleading for forgiveness, but my dad’s eyes said it all. He came in and closed the door, then he said, “Get over my knees”. All the time me pleading, “I didn’t mean it”. Then he whispered in my ear, “make a loud scream and I’ll pretend to whack you” So that’s what we did, I creamed and he made a whacking sound. Then he said, “I know you didn’t mean it, but be very careful, you’ll have to work to pay for the window” I nodded and he said, “Now go in and rub your bum like it hurts”. My brothers and sisters and mother were all looking at me when I went in and I played my part and pretended to be hurt.
“As a Father has compassion on his children” My dad gave me a great lesson that day. I deserved punishment, it was in the days when parents disciplined their children and I knew I was wrong, but he had mercy upon me. Earthly fathers love their kids, but God our Heavenly Father has so much more compassion, He doesn’t punish us as our sins deserve (Verse 10).
Does this remind you of the Lord’s prayer? It should. It ends as the Lord’s prayer begins, but the themes of God’s grace and mercy are as evident. Pray this Psalm, let His Character soak your soul and sing songs about how merciful our Father in Heaven really is. He’s forgiven me so much, and yet He’s calling me to a higher walk with Him. He knows what I’m like, yet He’s crowning me with glory and honour. How can we not PRAISE the LORD, O my soul.
Hymn: There’s a Wideness in God’s Mercy:
There’s a wideness in God’s mercy,
like the wideness of the sea.
There’s a kindness in God’s justice,
which is more than liberty.
There is no place where earth’s sorrows
are more felt than up in heaven.
There is no place where earth’s failings
have such kindly judgment given.
For the love of God is broader
than the measures of the mind.
And the heart of the Eternal
is most wonderfully kind.
If our love were but more faithful,
we would gladly trust God’s Word,
and our lives reflect thanksgiving
for the goodness of our Lord.
Turn and again and dust yourself off my friends, get cleaned up and wash your hands to serve the Lord. Let His kindness, mercy and grace wash over your soul today.
Jesus died to set you free from sin. Live in that freedom, knowing the depths and wideness of God’s mercy and how it triumphs over judgement.